Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Radical Reunion Won't Be Televised

The television and movie writers are still on strike. I won’t cross the picket line. I fully support collective bargaining and hope the Writers Guild drives a hard bargain.

In observing the Writers Guild walk out from afar, I relish in the opportunity to see the faces of the people who write the drivel that ends up being broadcast on television or shown on the big screen. Too many times I have muttered to the screen, “Who writes this sh*t?” A number of times I have felt robbed of two hours of my life watching some stupid, worthless movie. (Remember the movie, “Mrs. King Kong”?) So now there they are – those usually-faceless script and screenplay writers – appearing on the evening news walking the picket line and pictured on the Internet.

I’ve been slowly divorcing myself from television over the past few years, progressing from the 100+ channels on cable to your bare-bones basic package today. The chance of catching worthwhile programming is the same with either package...and the same with or without a strike.

But who needs television? The good sh*t is out on the streets, where truth and reality roam and where concerned citizens struggle to write (and right) history.

Two weeks ago, for example, the Super Bowl of Activism happened in the Lansing Area. On Wednesday, November 14th, citizen activists had the choice of meeting and interacting with Anna Beltzer, Rev. Edward Pinkney, or Adrian Campbell. Also, the new Peace Over Prejudice Campaign at Michigan State University (MSU) held a panel discussion on “Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.” And I believe Everybody Reads Bookstore was hosting a guest author that night.

If you sat home watching TV on November 14th, you’ve got to check yourself.

Tomorrow’s another big day, too, for citizen activists. The MSU Student for a Democratic Society (SDS) is holding a “reunion” in East Lansing, Michigan. SDS radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are scheduled to attend, along with former MSU professor Bert Garskof. The original SDS president, Alan Haber, will appear too. There will be some Big-Time Radical History packed into Kedzie Hall tomorrow at 7 p.m. (Nov. 30, 2007).

(Ayers and Dohrn were featured in the movie, “The Weather Underground,” at the Peace Education Center’s movie night earlier this year at Magdalena’s Tea House.)

Of course, these radicals – and their local cohorts, young and old – plan to revisit their old pals at the East Lansing Marine Recruiting Station on Grand River earlier in the day at 2 p.m.

The evening event should be electric, too. If you know your SDS and Weatherman history, you will know that the SDS had a serious riff within the organization way back when. And both sides of that riff will be on hand tomorrow, I’m sure. I’ve already heard first-hand grumblings from former SDS activists who live here in town and, apparently, there are issues that still need closure. I won’t miss it.

So cut off the TV, grab your family and friends, and let’s all meet in East Lansing to write some more history.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

Note: Stop back tomorrow and Saturday for more reports, pictures, and videos.

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